In case you didn't get the message, food is very important here. The french live to eat, not the other way around. To put it more eloquently this is their motto "les français vivent pour manger pas mangent pour vivre". 

Therefore this leads me to talking about food. Tried FOIE GRAS (duck liver) tonight. Hmmm, what to say about it...well, it was kind of gross. I can't describe the taste but the texture was paste-like and it was a pale ugly looking pink color. Not my cup of tea. At least I tried. What's next, brain? No thanks...

Learned something new today: another word for intestines in french is les fraises. Yes, fraises but most certainly not the fruit. You know, the small sweet red fruit with tiny black seeds? Yup, not that one.

Anyways, here are some french idioms that involve food. Some of them are quite funny:(there's a literal translation but also its meaning):
1) Il y a une couille dans le potage: there's a testicle in the soup: there's a major problem
2) Elle casse les bonbons: she's breaking the candy: she is a pain in the ass, she gets on my nerves
3) Manger son pain blanc: to eat white bread: everything's going well
4) Les carottes sont cuites: the carots are cooked: game's over
5) Raconter des salades: to tell salads: you're telling lies
6) Quand les poules auront des dents: When chickens will have teeth: It will never happen (chicken don't have teeth, get it?)
7) Il ne faut pas bedre le peau de l'ours avant de l'avoir tué: It's not necessary to sell the skin of a bear before you kill it: Don't get ahead of yourself. 
8) Passer du coq à l'âne: to jump over a rooster to a donkey: to change from one subkect to another
9) Mettez les doigts dans le nez: Putting your fingers in your nose: being a jack of all trades

The last ones aren't food related but I thought they were entertaining nonetheless. I guess you can say french and american idioms are one of a kind. 

Anyways, going back to food I made dinner for my host family tonight. The main meal was quiche with broccoli, mushrooms and bacon. Then there was an accompanying walnut and apple salad. Yumm! Finally for dessert, I made Mexican wedding cakes or Russian Tea cakes. Everything turned out great and my family seemed to enjoy it! Even the little one seemed to enjoy my endeavors, as evidenced by the crumbs on his face.

I think I am slowly gaining the approval from the french with my cooking well, more so baking skills. Question of the semester: Will I earn the respect of those who belong to a country that is known for its world renowned, 5-star cuisine? We shall see, won't we?

Lately, I've been in a random baking mood and thus far I have made date bars, banana nut bread, Russian tea cakes, no bakes and chocolate thumb print cookies. Next, I plan to make a coffee cake, some sort of pie and lastly christmas cut-out cookies! If you have any baked goods suggestions comment below! Baking in France is a science experience and a wild bet. You never know what you're going to get in the end. The conversions are crazy and the ingredients are different or don't exist here...for example, tightly packed brown sugar. Impossible to find. Luckily, everything has turned out good so far, no complete fails unless you count my sad mac and cheese :( Although, I have claimed redemption with my baked goods!

Today (12/6/12), we had a bake sale for hurricane sandy. FYI bake sales do not exist in Europe. They are a foreign concept. Our stand was in front of the political science school and cathedral. We were hoping to catch some susceptible customers that looked hungry. We had a few french people stop by which was nice but other than that it was mostly American students and the faculty at IAU. Nonetheless, we made around 75 euro which wasn't too bad! 

I've been asked multiple questions about what I miss from home. I miss convenience. In the US we practically have everything at the tip of our fingers. What I have discovered is, I need to buy certain items at many different places. I can't find all my baking goods or cooking supplies in one grocery store. It becomes a pain and of course takes up time. This is a typical american attitude and way of thinking. Convenience and efficiency. Food wise, I miss spicy foods soooo much. The french lack spices!! Such a shame since their food is the crème de la crème (pun intended). I feel like french food in some ways lacks variety in tastes and spices. The way they cook their food and dress their food is phenomenal. I will have to give them that. However, my taste buds are lacking variety :( I also miss chili, tacos, good spaghetti (not italian good but your typical american homemade spaghetti), a hearty breakfast that includes pancakes, eggs, bacon, fruit etc. I miss peanut butter...especially peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!! What I'll miss from france is the fresh produce (aka delicious to-die for peaches), vegetable oil, the olives, the different arrangements of food, and of course the cheese!! I guess I can't have the best of both worlds unless I miraculously gain a superpower that allows me to be in two places at once. 


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